Donelle's Notes

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SPAC2E May Help Avoid the Pink Slip

The best and worst thing I did was share my SPAC2E theory of customer service with my daughter.  Now, every place we shop ends in a conversation about the fantastic, terrible or OK service the employees provided us rather than the great deal we got on yet another amazing sale.  Her reaction to poor service is to exclaim, in the privacy of our car thank goodness, "they should be fired!"  I try to explain to her that there are lots of factors that play a role in customer service including some ownership on the business itself.   She contends it's simple- fire them.  

Before she starts handing out the pink slips like candy at a good parade, employees need to know expectations and requirements of the position.  We know customer service has many components.   You may have had a really nice person ringing you up ... but they were REALLY SLOW!  Or the person who gave no greeting or acknowledgement that you were a human being ... yet was very efficient.   Customer service is based on perceptions and expectations as well as past experiences.  If I am expecting one thing and get something much worse, I am disappointed.  If the business doesn't fix the concern, customer service failed.  We'll talk more about this in future posts.  

For now, let me tell you the factors that get my daughter so riled and ready to sign off on those pink slips.  It is a theory I came up with years ago to try and tidy up a long list of customer service expectations that I had.  I admit, it doesn't include everything but it does hit the major highlights of customer service for internal (those that get a paycheck from the same place you do) and external customers.  Drum roll please.... welcome to the  SPAC2E theory! This amazing theory stands for; Speed, Personal Touch, Accuracy, Cooperation, Consistency, and Economy.  

We prioritize these standards based on the organization or group we are interacting with.  Here's what I mean.  If you are having a medical emergency, you may prioritize Speed and Accuracy higher than the other standards.  If you are buying a car, you may prioritize Economy and Personal Touch.  We each differ as to our expectations and perceptions so our priorities may be different than the next coworker or customer.  Others, however, can give us clues to their priorities simply by what they say and how they say it.

For example, if someone wants to make small talk with you and works hard to build rapport, they may value the Personal Touch Standard as a priority.  If they say, "one quick question", they are valuing Speed.  If they start breaking down their bill line item by line item, they are valuing Accuracy and/or Economy.  Listen closely next time you are interacting with your customers to help determine what standard they are valuing most at that time.  Remember, to avoid the hypothetical pink slip from my daughter, providing good customer service involves understanding and practicing all the standards of SPAC2E.